Solano County’s Economic Development Corporation reported that it has successfully implemented a 32-point action program supporting its “Moving Solano Forward” vision in 2018 designed to stimulate continued growth, investment and capacity.
These efforts resulted in 30 percent higher revenue among firms in the county last year along with a 45 percent growth in private investment.
President and CEO Robert Burris said the EDC has also launched a new social media marketing platform resulting in rapid growth in the number of prospects able to provide new jobs and investment in the region. He was Speaking to more than 200 attendees, including 41 local and state elected officials along with Senator Bill Dodd, at the 36th annual Solano Economic Development Corporation meeting, held in Fairfield on Wednesday,
“We experienced four-fold growth last year. Marketing is a team sport. Our task force developed proactive rules of engagement that encompasses a number of cooperative agreements, a pilot retention effort program, and a collaborative marketing plan to showcase benefits associated with Solano. We also have an enhanced, coordinated conferencing and events plan involving businesses and those thinking about moving here that includes intelligence sharing for regional success.”
In addition, this comprehensive marketing program also includes sponsorships and placed advertising, active engagement in several state-wide and northern California organizations.
The EDC’s three key action plan goals involve solidifying revenue growth and capacity, streamlining operations in a lean organization model, and focusing on the use of digital media to market the county.
“We’re focused on ways to bring more jobs and opportunities to Solano with special emphasis on three industry clusters: life sciences, food and beverage and advanced manufacturing including chemicals, materials and businesses supporting research, government and the Department of Defense,” Burris said.
Burris said he and his team, along with regional authorities, have hit the road aggressively seeking new business prospects by going outside of the region to meet with those interested in coming to come to Solano on their own turf, such as medical and real estate executives. These efforts also involve participating in major nationwide conferences, such as the upcoming June Bio-Tech conference in Philadelphia. He reported that 76 percent of the companies looking at Solano find the county’s R&D and manufacturing possibilities to be highly attractive.
“We have a great region as a base and hub for those engaged in logistics and warehousing operations and other industry categories as well as a great transportation system," Burris said. "As a result, we’re seeing higher salaries, greater density, more investment and firms staying longer than before. This has led to the creation of more jobs per square foot. Our outreach activities have exposed us to networks we have not engaged with in the past.”
He said increasing the visibility of the EDC’s role in attracting business involves creating new content, collateral materials, and a package of video tours showing what he calls “exciting views of the region.” The first of six planned online videos showcasing the county in terms of what it has to offer for each major business category has been produced, and others will follow in 2019. Beyond refreshed visuals, there is an investor package and social profile images enhanced with custom photography.
Burris said these upgrades have included an improved web page and that “visits to the EDC’s site have soared.”